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Kristin Eberhard’s Blog

I think I Can: California moves to reduce GHG emissions

Kristin Eberhard

Posted November 24, 2009

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With such childhood stories as Where the Wild Things Are and Fantastic Mr. Fox suddenly theater blockbusters, it seems appropriate to harken back to a favorite childhood book when considering the California Air Resources Board (CARB)'s release today of its Preliminary Draft Regulations for a California greenhouse gas (GHG) cap and trade program.

 California is The Little Engine That Could: bravely facing the hill of transforming our state to a new, clean energy economy.  

 After passing the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) through the House in June, the federal government is still considering the details of a bill to reduce GHG emissions.  California, having passed the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) in 2006, is taking the first steps up that hill, and is bringing many others along with it.  A cap and trade program is one part of CARB's comprehensive plan to reduce state-wide GHG emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020.  The states and provinces below are all committed to or committing to GHG cap and trade programs that will also put them on track to reduce their GHG emissions.


Source: Pew Center on Climate Change

 Here are some highlights of California's preliminary draft regulations:

  • Tight declining cap on GHG emissions;
  • Electricity, industrial, natural gas, and transportation emissions all included under the cap by 2015;
  • Possible entity-specific limit on offsets of 4% of emissions;
  • Provisions for linking to the Western Climate Initiative (WCI);
  • Placeholder for distribution of allowance value, awaiting recommendations from EAAC (

 The document released today is a draft, and CARB is seeking stakeholder input to help it fine-tune the regulations over the next year -- the final language will go to the Board in October 2010.  We encourage CARB to keep chugging up that hill, so that we can all slide down the other side saying "I thought we could" create a prosperous, clean economy.

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